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WRAL-TV History Timeline1956 - FCC awards TV Channel 5 to CBC
12/15/1956 - WRAL-TV signs on air as full-power NBC affiliate
1959 - WRAL Gardens opened to the public for the first time
1960 - WRAL-TV begins tradition of lighting the television tower at the station with Christmas lights during the 1960's
1962 - WRAL-TV becomes ABC affiliate
1969 - WRAL-TV begins airing United Cerebral Palsy telethon
1978 - WRAL-TV erects 2,000-ft transmitting tower in Auburn, NC, constructing highest man-made structure east of the Mississippi at the time
1979 - WRAL-TV begins sponsorship of Pops in the Park, a Labor Day outdoor concert with the NC Symphony Orchestra
1979 - WRAL-TV becomes first television station in state to dedicate a helicopter to its newsgathering efforts, a microwave-equipped Hughes 500-D jetcopter dubbed Sky 5
1982 - WRAL-TV designs and constructs complete weather forecasting facility, WRAL Weather Center, Raleigh-Durham's first local television station with a team of professional meteorologists
1983 - Carolina News Network becomes one of the nation's first regional TV news network
1984 - WRAL-TV becomes North Carolina's first station to use a KU-band transportable uplink vehicle "Livestar 5"
1985 - WRAL-TV becomes CBS affiliate & within only 5 months, WRAL-TV ranked as 4th strongest CBS affiliate in the nation's top 50 markets
1989 - WRAL-TV launches Coats for the Children
12/4/1989 - WRAL-TV begins closed captioning for local newscasts
12/10/1989 - WRAL-TV Tower collapses after a severe ice storm; warm temperatures cause uneven thawing of an estimated 40,000 lbs of ice on WRAL-TV transmitting tower's supporting wires
1990 - WRAL-TV begins Doctors on Call
10/25/1990 - New 2,000-ft tower completed; WRAL-TV began broadcasting from this tower on Oct 25, 1990
1992 - For the Children campaign launches at WRAL-TV
1993 - WRAL-TV begins airing Duke Children's Miracle Network Telethon
1996 - WRAL-TV first Raleigh-Durham station to launch an Internet presence, WRAL-TV5 Online
6/19/1996 - WRAL-TV granted the first experimental HDTV license
7/23/1996 - HDTV test transmission begins
7/23/1996 - WRAL-TV becomes the first commercial television station in the nation to broadcast an HDTV signal
8/6/1996 - WRAL-TV completes first HDTV Demonstration at WRAL-HD
1997 - WRAL-TV Weather Center premieres state-of-the-art Doppler 5000 radar
10/28/1998 - WRAL-TV (WRAL Digital) has High Definition (HDTV) Broadcast of first live news event: John Glenn's Return to Space
12/4/1998 - Cape Hatteras Lighthouse documentary airs in High Definition Television on WRAL-TV
12/22/1998 - WRAL builds new TV Tower to become home to DTV channel, WRAL
5/11/1999 - WRAL Digital begins airing CBS network's prime time HDTV programming
2000 - WRAL-TV, using multi-casting, airs all 64 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament games via its digital channels
10/13/2000 - WRAL-TV broadcasts the entire 5:00pm news in HD from the NC State Fairgrounds becoming the world's first all-HD newscast
1/28/2001 - WRAL-TV converts to an all-digital news operation during the late night newscast becoming the world's 1st news operation to gather and present high-definition local news on a continuous basis
6/18/2001 - WRAL-TV begins simulcasting the 6:00pm weekly newscasts in Spanish via the Second Audio Program (SAP)
7/30/2001 - WRAL-TV launches a full-time local news channel on WRAL-DT digital channel 53.2 and Time Warner digital cable service channel 256, the WRAL NewsChannel
3/3/2003 - WRAL-TV launches WRAL Weather Center Channel (now providing continuous local weather forecasts on the WRAL WeatherCenter via Time-Warner Digital Cable channel 252 or over the air on WRAZ-DT channel 50.3)
2/1/2006 - WRAL-TV launched the landmark Apollo Project with Decisionmark Corp. to retransmit the WRAL broadcast signal over the Internet, making them the first station in the country capable of streaming both local and network content.
5/16/2006 - The North Carolina Lottery (NCEL) selected WRAL-TV as its producing station for the North Carolina state lottery drawing. The selection will give the station exclusive rights to air the drawings in the Triangle, including carrying the Wednesday and Saturday drawings for Powerball, a multi-state Jackpot game.
7/15/2006 - WRAL-TV pulls the most complex and complicated event coverage in its 50 year history with the 2006 Tall Ships event in Beaufort, North Carolina. The live event used 8 cameras, three of them in mobile locations aboard a ship, large boat and Sky5. In addition, the event was captured completely in high definition and broadcast around the state of the PBS system and internationally over the Internet.
10/6/2006 - On Friday, October 6th, WRAL-TV produced North Carolina's first live lottery drawing.
1/17/2007 - WRAL-TV wins the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for broadcast journalism for two of its Focal Point documentaries: "Standards of Living" and "Paper Thing Promise." The award is recognized in the industry as broadcasting’s Pulitzer Prize. Only 14 of the awards were given and went to WRAL alongside PBS, NBC News, HBO and NPR among others.
9/12/2007 - WRAL-TV debuts the most powerful and accurate broadcast radar ever built, during its 5pm newscast . With a million watts of power and newly invented dual polarization technology, the all-new DUALDoppler5000 sees twice as much as ordinary Doppler radar.
5/14/2008 - NC Spin, the local affairs talk show produced by WRAL-TV and aired on FOX 50, taped its 500th episode. It is the longest running statewide TV talk show
7/21/2008 - WRAL-TV deploys second live Doppler radar, WRAL's Fayetteville Doppler, to provide additional & improved weather coverage for the Sandhills, Fayetteville & Fort Bragg.
7/21/2008 - WRAL-TV & CBC's New Media Group began the first field tests of Mobile TV in the Raleigh-Durham television market with the use of Mobile Pedestrian Handheld (MPH) prototypes.
4/14/2009 - Mobile digital television broadcasting joins forces with public transit as Raleigh, WRAL and the CBC New Media Group launch the first public deployment of mobile digital TV in a Capital Area Transit bus. The venture delivers real-time digital television and interactive data to CAT buses.
6/12/2009 - CBC television stations join the country in turning off their analog signals, officially making the transition to digital telvision.
6/20/2010 - WRAL.com named best local TV website in the international competition sponsored by Editor & Publisher, the Eppy Awards. The Eppy Awards honor the best media-affiliated Web sites across 36 diverse categories.
4/15/2012 - CBC completes construction of a 1-megawatt solar farm on WRAL-TV’s antenna site in Garner. The solar array is the first in the state to be constructed around a TV station tower and generates enough electricity for about 1,000 homes.
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